Seven DIY Projects to Weatherize your Home for Winter

Compiled By Efficiency Vermont

Do-it-yourselfers now have a little help. In time for the annual Button Up Vermont weatherization awareness campaign, Efficiency Vermont has launched a new rebate program that provides up to $100 for weatherization materials used to complete any three of seven approved projects. Whether you apply for the rebate or not, all of these seven DIY projects will make your home cozier during the winter and cheaper to heat.

Build or purchase an air tight, well insulated attic hatch: Insulate your attic access points to keep the heated air in the home’s living space. Weather-strip around the edges to create a tight seal and attach at least six inches of rigid insulation to the hatch panel.

Air seal and insulate the box sill and rim joists in your basement: Seal basement leaks (especially the sill plates and rim joists that sit on the foundation wall) to slow air flow. If you have fiberglass in the box sill or rim joist, pull it out, then air seal and re-insulate.

Build an airtight, well insulated bulkhead door in your basement: Install weather stripping around the edges and insulate the door with at least 1.5 inches of rigid insulation. Alternatively, you can replace it with a well-insulated exterior door.

Spot air seal and insulate your attic: Find air leaks in your attic and seal them. Seal air leaks with a professional quality spray foam gun. Once air leaks have been sealed (common ones include openings made for plumbing and electrical lines), add insulation. If you heat or cool your home with forced air, seal the ductwork and any uninsulated crawl spaces.

Install a new window, Low-E storm window or panel: Install your storm windows by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Before installing a storm window, caulk the tops and sides (jambs and head) of the original window to ensure it’s airtight (avoid sealing it shut with caulk).

Weatherize windows: Seal around window frames with caulk and weather-strip windows. Add caulking around window casings, fill in unused pulley cavities, and replace cracked panes and glazing compound (caution: do not caulk the window shut). Then add weather-stripping around the edges.

Weatherize exterior doors: Apply caulk around the frame and apply weather strips to the door jambs. Check that you can open and close the door easily. Install a door sweep at the bottom to prevent strong drafts.

Get step-by-step guidance and how-to-videos for these DIY projects at efficiencyvermont.com. Even more resources and tips are available at buttonupvermont.org.

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